Last week Teresa Posakony, Lina Cramer, Kevin Johnson and I worked Christine Ageton, Alissa Barron and others from the BALLE Network (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies). BALLE is an inspiring and rapidly growing network that represents a strong commitment to restoring community through local businesses. They’ve recently launched their new website with particular branding around connecting leaders, spreading solutions, and sharing helpful resources in the localist movement.
One of the things I love about BALLE is that they are offering solutions and critical connections in a rather complex environment. There is a kind of hunger, heartfulness, and simplicity that I appreciate and saw in the people I met. Their actions are anchored in the simple, an invitation for each person to do what they are doing and a bit more. Yet, their vision is appropriately massive: “Within a generation, we envision a global system of human-scale, interconnected local economies that function in harmony with local ecosystems to meet the basic needs of all people, support just and democratic societies, and foster joyful community life.”
It was an inspiring couple of days spent together in the beauty of Chicago’s Berger Park, on the shore of Lake Michigan. Using the Art of Hosting pattern for learning, we gave attention to several key questions like those named here:
What are we each going to have to lose or release so that the next phase of local can be born?
How do we feed our cities sustainably?
How do we heal the effects of conflict and difference to create healthy, authentic dialogue that reaches across difference?
How do we get local business at the center of the conversation to solve our toughest problems?
What is community resilience?
How does gift culture come to life as we build local living economies?
A few other bits of harvest are here:
–Photos of People
–Photos of Flipcharts
–Blog post from Teresa Posakony on the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce story